Lonicera maackii - Amur Honeysuckle
Family: Caprifoliaceae

Hear the scientific name

Lonicera maackii is a large vigorous shrub with showy white to yellow late spring flowers, arching growth habit, and red autumn fruits that attract birds. Amur Honeysuckle is a representative of escaped shrubs that displace native plants in a natural habitat. It is a serious threat in the urban forest.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form Form

-large-sized shrub

-maturing at 15' tall x 15' wide

-upright vased growth habit in youth, becoming arching

-fast growth rate

foliage Foliage

-medium green to dark green, shiny and glabrous above, deciduous, opposite, elliptic, with extremely acuminate apex

-having a short petiole, with the leaves drooping below the plane of the stem; one of the earliest shrubs to leaf out

-autumn color is green tinged with purple and ineffective, persistent into Nov.

-one of the first shrubs to leaf out, and one of the last to abscise its foliage

Flowers
flowers

-white changing to yellow

-in May and June with each flower effective for 2 weeks

-flowers borne upright with 4 per node

Fruit
fruit

-small, red fleshy berries maturing in Sept. and persisting into Dec.

-showy in masses and readily eaten by birds and other wildlife (thus, spread everywhere as an invasive shrub)

-most effective in Oct. and Nov. when the numerous bright red berries contrast well against the persistent dark green glossy leaves

Twig

-tan to brown-white, becoming striated then furrowed on the branches

trunk Trunk

-multi-trunked, light brown, lightly furrowed, and vased

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Culture

-full sun to partial shade

-extremely adaptable and urban tolerant, especially to various soils and soil pHs, drought, and heavy pruning but not tolerant of wet sites

-readily propagated by seeds or rooted stem cuttings

-Honeysuckle Family, with few disease or pest problems

-rarely available from nurseries in B&B or container form, but a common noxious woody weed throughout fencerows, wastelands, neglected urban areas, and logged-over forests in much of Eastern North America

Hardiness

-zones 2 to 8

Origin

-native to Manchuria and Korea

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Assets

-large rapidly growing shrub with a vased to arching growth habit

-showy flowering in late spring

-attractive red fruits in autumn

-urban tolerance

Liabilities

-profuse seed dispersal by birds, rampant seed germination, and an aggressive growth rate creates overwhelmingly large single specimens or thickets of the noxious shrub that are extremely adaptable to adverse and varied conditions

-in natural settings such as open fencerows or understory woodlands, Amur Honeysuckle (from Asia) readily displaces native saplings, shrubs, and wildflowers, and creates a near monoculture of itself as an invader shrub

-poor autumn color

Function

-informal large hedges, deciduous screens, or wildlife attraction, in an ornamental usage, but usually found as an invader species in neglected areas because of its invasiveness

NOTE: THIS PLANT SHOULD NOT BE USED IN THE LANDSCAPE

Texture

-medium texture in foliage and bold when bare

- thick density in foliage and open when bare

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species

Alternates

-large shrubs for the border or those used as a deciduous screen (Calycanthus floridus, Cornus mas, Euonymus alatus, Forsythia, Hydrangea species, Ligustrum obtusifolium, Lonicera tatarica, Rhodotypos scandens, Syringa vulgaris, Viburnum dentatum, Viburnum prunifolium, Viburnum x rhytidophylloides, Weigela florida, etc.)

-rapidly growing shrubs (Cornus sericea, Forsythia, Weigela florida, etc.)

-arching and vased-shaped shrubs (Hibiscus syriacus, Ligustrum obtusifolium, Viburnum dilatatum, etc.)

-shrubs with both showy spring flowers and good autumn fruit display (Viburnum cassinoides, Viburnum opulus 'Compactum', Viburnum dilatatum, Viburnum trilobum, etc.)

 


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